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Four Centuries of Paintings and Manuscripts from the Indian Subcontinent

CAT. NO. 85

Loyal Address Jodhpur, 1877

Manuscript written in devanagari and roman scripts on paper with decorative headings and outer borders in ink and opaque watercolour including metallic paints and gold leaf | 2 fols; 76.1 × 26.3 cm | RA VIC/ADDJ/1713 |

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Among the South Asian rulers assembled in Delhi on 1 January 1877 to witness the formal announcement of Queen Victoria’s assumption of the title of Empress of India was Jaswant Singh II, Maharajah of Jodhpur. True to court tradition, he commissioned his Poet Laureate, Kaviraj Murardan, [282] to compose a hyperbolic eulogy in praise of the Queen- Empress: ‘During thy reign, Lion and Goat drink together at the same wharf; the subjects are immersed in contentment, and the vestige of distress has altogether disappeared.’ The equation of the conditions of British India with Rama Rajya, the fair and just rule of Rama, compared to the ‘dark days’ of Mughal (and by inference, ‘Muslim’) rule were common in such texts. Over the course of her reign, Queen Victoria received hundreds of addresses and other compositions from the Indian subcontinent containing similar ritualised expressions of loyalty. Here the verses were transcribed in Hindi and English and illuminated with flowers and peacocks for official presentation.

ES

  • [282] See Bayley 1894, p. 11. 

  • Presented to Queen Victoria by Jaswant Singh II, Maharajah of Jodhpur (1838–95)